ArcelorMittal acquires French solar farm specialist

ArcelorMittal last week told Kallanish, sister publication of Kallanish Energy, it’s strengthened its position in the solar energy supply market with the acquisition of French company Exosun.

The solar tracker specialist will become part of ArcelorMittal’s Projects’ division. No purchase price for the acquisition was disclosed.

Based in Martillac, France, Exosun designs, develops and markets steel solar trackers that allow photovoltaic panels to follow the sun's path, and thus increase the performance of ground-mounted solar farms.

The new subsidiary has delivered more than 55 solar farms worldwide, totaling 700 megawatts of installed capacity, the steelmaker said.

ArcelorMittal already manufactures steel solar frames in Europe, China and Egypt. It is also supplying its so-called Magnelis coated steel to the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai (UAE), said to be the world’s largest renewable energy project.

The global solar photovoltaic energy market is expected to grow by 15,000 installed megawatts/year (MW/y) from 2017 to 2020, from 75,000 installed MW in 2016, half of which will be in large-scale solar farms.

Trackers are an emerging solution that increase profitability and now account for 25% of the large solar farms market (as opposed to fixed-structure panels that have no tracker and do not move). It’s estimated they could account for up to 50% of this market by 2020, ArcelorMittal said.

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